Sport Golf - Sadom Kaewkanjana
Sadom Kaewkanjana (Thai) practising at Al Mouj Golf, Oman prior to this week's International Series - Oman on the Asian Tour Image Credit: Supplied

The Asian Tour remains in the Middle East this week with the return of professional golf to Oman with the $2 million International Series – Oman at Al Mouj Golf, Muscat.

Following last week’s PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, the Asian Tour moves just over 2,000 kilometres to Muscat for the second event on their 2022 – 2023 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and the first event of the season on the International Series Order of Merit.

The marquee group in the 132 player field sees four time major winner Brooks Koepka (US), tee off at 12.20 pm alongside Sadom Kaewkanjana (Thai), who finished in fourth place last week in Saudi, and Mito Pereira (Chile).

The tournament has a projected OWGR points total of 12.82 for the winner.

The tournament is played over 7,045 yards, par 72, Greg Norman designed course that has already hosted many international tournaments for both Pros and Amateurs, despite only being officially opened in 2011.

A strong regional presence is participating with Dubai based Shiv Kapur (Ind), Jeev Milka Singh (Ind) and MG Keyser (RSA) all in the draw.

There are three professionals in the draw from Saudi, one from Jordan, one from Morocco plus three amateurs and one amateur from each of Egypt and Qatar. The host country, Oman, has three amateurs in the field.

Special mention deserves to be made of Amateurs Issa Abouelela (Egypt) and El Mehdi Fakori (Morocco) who are in the field this week, both made the 36 hole cut last week in Saudi, that fell at level par, Abouelela with rounds of 72. 68. 72 and 72 and Fakori with rounds of 71. 69. 74 and 66 to finish on level par, a more than respectable tied 58th.

The first tee times tomorrow (Thursday) are at 7 am in a two-tee start.

The wind usually plays a big part in how the golf course plays in Muscat with it lying along the coast, with the wind expected to be calm in the early morning and rising to over 20 km around noon and even higher all afternoon. Kapur and Milkha Singh both have early starts at 8.10 am and 7.40 am respectively and will hope to make the most of this round one advantage.

The International Series – Oman can be watched on Dubai Sports Channel with the following broadcast times:

Thursday: 1.30 pm – 5.30 pm

Friday: 1.30 pm – 5.30 pm

Saturday: 12.00 noon – 4 pm

Sunday: 12.00 noon – 4 pm